• 26.02.2021
  • Space, Air, Land, Group
  • Media release

Ralf Drees appointed new Head of Aerostructures at RUAG International

A change in management is taking place in RUAG International's aerostructures business. Ralf Drees will take over as head of the business from March 15, 2021. His goal: to position Aerostructures for the future. Dirk Prehn has decided to leave RUAG Aerostructures after six years with the company....

Portrait Ralf Drees

RUAG International's aerostructures business is getting a new boss. With Ralf Drees, a manager is waiting in the wings who – in view of the unprecedented crisis in aviation – will gear the business unit to a completely changed market situation."My task is clear: to make Aerostructures fit for the future in view of the new market conditions and lower production rates," says Ralf Drees, explaining his assignment at RUAG International. The 56-year-old German has proven many times in the past that he will be able to do this.

For example, Ralf Drees most recently turned around a site in France at the STS Group, a systems supplier for commercial vehicles and passenger cars, with sales of around 180 million euros and a negative EBIT within one and a half years. He can draw on expertise from more than 20 years in the automotive and aviation industries. Ralf Drees began his career with MTU in Munich, where he held various positions for 13 years before joining BMW-Rolls Royce in 1992. This was followed by positions as plant manager for Caradon in Austria and Holland and as production manager for ABB and later Fairchild Dornier and Colfax. In 2007, Ralf Drees moved to the Dräxlmeier Group as plant manager and in 2010 took over the Chief Operation Officer role for Boshoku Automotive GmbH. His last two positions were with aircraft systems supplier FACC Operations and plastics manufacturer Polytec Composites.

André Wall, CEO of RUAG International, says: "With Ralf Drees, we are gaining a manager who is hands-on and will also implement the necessary strategic adjustments in close coordination with our main customers. In doing so, we will benefit massively from his expertise in lean management, the Toyota Production System and value stream mapping. »

Dirk Prehn leaves RUAG International

Dirk Prehn, the previous Head of RUAG Aerostructures, has decided to leave the company to take on a new challenge. Dirk Prehn worked for RUAG Aerostructures for six years. During his time he built up the Hungarian production site in Eger, had it certified and transferred key work packages to rapidly ramp up production for the main customer Airbus. Highlights of his work include increasing the production rate in the Airbus Single Aisle program by around 20 percent to more than 60 aircraft per month in pre-Corona times. André Wall says: "I would like to thank Dirk Prehn for his commitment over the past years, especially for his contribution to the restructuring of the segment within the site network. I wish him all the best for the future, both privately and professionally. »